T.M.P.I.M. Tennakoon, S.S. Kodithuwakku


The competition in the higher education sector in Sri Lanka is ever increasing with the private sector players entering into the industry. This has necessitated the government universities to be more proactive in their approaches to higher education. Realizing this need, the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya of Sri Lanka has launched a new degree programme “B.Sc. Agricultural Technology and Management” replacing “B.Sc. Agriculture”  degree programme, which was offered by the Faculty since 1948. Subsequently, the Faculty has carried out several promotional campaigns in order to favorably position the degree programme in the minds of all the relevant stakeholders. However, the Faculty felt that the effectiveness of such communication programmes should further be improved through better designing and targeting the advertising and promotional campaigns. Accordingly, this study was carried out in order to understand the factors that affect the selection of degree programmes by Advanced Level students of the Biology stream who are seeking university entrance. A questionnaire survey was carried out among first year undergraduates of the faculties catering to the Biological Science stream of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. A factor analysis was carried out in order to analyse the data. The findings revealed that, the influence of the external parties, viz. parents, siblings, friends, role models and school teachers, and the minimum z-scores required by various degree programmes in previous years significantly influenced the decision of the first year undergraduates of all the faculties of Biological Science stream. However, there were two other influential factors, which were unique for the students of the Faculty of Agriculture: the influences of the tuition masters and the promotional activities done by the Faculty. According to the perception of undergraduates, the wide spectrum of the curriculum, wide array of career opportunities, and the availability of higher educational opportunities were the most prominent factors that were highlighted in the promotional campaign carried out by the Faculty.


Keywords: Consumer Decision Making, Influencing Factors, Marketing Communication, University Admission

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk


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